Newsom Is Winning With NRA Lie

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

Gavin Newsom should be delighted at all the media people who keep calling him a liar.

Because of the context of the lie.

In some versions of a TV ad, Newsom’s campaign claimed he was the first politician to take on the National Rifle Association and win.

He wasn’t the first—that’s the lie. But who cares?

Since the ad aired, Newsom has been at the center of a debate that any politician would want to be part of:

Was he the first to score a political victory? Or just one of a few politicians to score a political victory?

His critics, of course, are pointing out that other politicians have beat the NRA on occasion. (The late Gov. George Deukmejian was one of them, as his recent obituaries noted). But in dissing him, they still keep talking about his victories.

Talk about a winning strategy.

So I’ll copy it. I’m the first person to write a really terrific column about California.

Just go ahead and call me a liar.

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